This educational idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott.
“Election time is an ideal opportunity to sneak in a little learning, no matter which candidate gets your vote.” -Amy
The voting process is so hard for kids–and even adults!–to understand, so what better way to help kids begin to understand the process just a little bit more than through the use of puzzles. In any situation, using puzzles and games is a great way to get children thinking, and the voting process is no different.
Election time is an ideal opportunity to sneak in a little learning, no matter which candidate gets your vote. You can talk about anything election related: presidents; the White House; Washington, D.C.; or state or local government.
The Melissa & Doug Presidents Floor Puzzle is something we love to use, not only for the challenge of the 100-piece puzzle, but also for the learning opportunities that arise each time we use it.
As we work on finishing the puzzle, president-chatter is quite common. Usually the conversation begins with a general observation about our presidents:
“Why do some presidents have long hair and some have short hair?”
“Some guys look happy and some look mad. Why?”
“Who will be the next president?”
Though I certainly can’t answer every question, I do what I can. And what I can’t answer, we research.
Lately the conversation has focused on the upcoming election. Our local media–on the radio and on television–is saturated with political ads, so it’s natural that my children would be curious.
“How do you get to be the president, Mom?”
“I think it’d be cool to be the president.”
“I wonder if we’ll have the same president or a new guy next?”
We talk briefly about the election process, covering only the basics, such as:
- People must be 18 years old to vote.
- It’s our duty as citizens in a democratic society to vote for our leaders.
- The more people who vote, the better, because each vote counts. (My kids are a bit too young to cover the electoral college, the group of people who officially elect the president, so I just stick with the “get out there and vote” message.);
- On Election Day, we not only vote for the president and vice president of the United States of America, but we also vote for local and state leaders as well.
Simple, sure–but it all counts. Just like our votes! Happy voting, friends!
Hang with Amy over at teachmama.com for more cool, super-sneaky ways to throw in some learning in the name of fun or join her at we teach–a forum for parents and teachers to connect, share ideas and grow–no matter the classroom. Or tweet with her (@teachmama), pin with her or chat with her on Facebook!
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